Napa, CA – Antisemitic signs and flyers posted outside of a Browns Valley Road residence have drawn numerous complaints from Napans and several reports to the Napa Police Department this week. But the police have said they won’t do anything about the current signage and flyers, and they haven’t done anything about past signs there, because the messages are protected by the First Amendment.
“The message was reviewed by the Napa Police Department and assessed by the Napa County District Attorney’s Office,” Napa police chief Jennifer Gonzales said in a Wednesday email. “It was determined to be Constitutionally protected speech. Like other times when the message was written in a manner that provoked energy from others, we cannot and will not take unlawful law enforcement action against First Amendment protected speech.”
As of Wednesday morning, the sign outside of the Browns Valley Road residence, immediately next to the public sidewalk and visible from the road, read: “ADL says don’t look at the Jews behind the curtain.” That’s likely in reference to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that specializes in civil rights law and tracks antisemitic incidents, which have been rising rapidly over the past several years.
Above that sign is a second, cardboard sign, with flyers attached, that reads: “Take One.” The flyers appear to be lightly edited versions of antisemitic flyers previously distributed around Florida and several other communities around the country, which accuse 10 of Disney’s executives of being Jewish and grooming children for sexual abuse; it includes pictures of each of those executives with a Star of David pasted on their forehead. Unlike those flyers, the Napa flyers additionally claim “Walt Disney World to Host largest LGBTQ+ Conference in the World” and accuse the Disney executives as being “Jews behind the curtain.”
The flyers are likely in reference to, and exist in the context of, a dispute between Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. That dispute essentially started when Disney’s former chief executive, Bob Chapek, criticized Florida’s anti-LGBTQ “Don’t Say Gay” law last year, which banned lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade. Florida lawmakers are currently working to expand that law to cover higher grades and similar bills have been considered in at least 26 states, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.